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The H1B1 Visa: A Comprehensive Analysis
May 12, 2022
6 mins
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In this article, you will learn more about the following:

  • What is the H1B1 visa and its requirements
  • H1B1 Application process and duration
  • Change of Status to H1B1

To get more details on the H1B1 you can go through a comprehensive guide on the H1B1 as a whole.

A Short Intro to the H1B1 Visa

First, let's start with our blog's prime topic- The H1B1 visa meaning and program. If you are a resident of Singapore or Chile looking for employment in the US, this article is for you. Why? The H1B1 visa provides temporary employment for non-immigrant Singaporeans and Chileans. The H1B1 category has a limit of 6,800 petitions of the 65,000 visas under the Regular Cap. Of the 6,800, 1,400 visas are reserved for Chileans and 5,400 for Singaporeans.

There are three important aspects to know about the H1B1 visa:

  • The employment duration is one a year.
  • You can apply only twice for visa extensions in one-year increments.
  • To obtain further extensions, you must file for a new Labor Condition Application.

Like every other American visa, the H1B1 also has specific requirements for both employers and employees. Let's take a look.

H1B1: Requirements for Employers & Employees

1. Requirements for Employees

The H1B1 visa requirements are quite similar to that of H1B. The employee or applicant of the H-1B1 visa also has to fulfill some criteria and hand in documents for the visa application process.

Employees from Singapore or Chile should have:

  • A Singapore or Chile citizenship.
  • A specialty occupation in the US that requires theoretical and practical skills and expertise in the specialty occupation.
  • A post-secondary degree with four years of study in the specialized field. (There are exceptions to this requirement.)
  • A demonstration of non-immigrant intent with a temporary employment period in the US.
  • A job with a legally functioning organization (H1B1 holders cannot be self-employed or be independent contractors.)

2. H1B1 Requirements for Employers

To sponsor applicants for H1B1 visas, employers must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Offer jobs that require professionals who fulfill the required educational qualifications and work experience.
  • Obtain an LCA or Labor Condition Application through Form ETA 9035E from the US Department of Labor (DoL). Foreign employees cannot start working without an approved LCA.
  • Pay the applicable fee amount.
  • Provide evidential documents to the Department of Labor that the employee is a citizen of Singapore/Chile. Besides, the employer also has to furnish tax information of the employee and a report of wages to be paid to the state employees.

The employee can commence the application process only after the employer obtains a certified LCA approval from the DoL.

How does the H1B1 visa benefit Singaporeans and Chileans? Like the H1B visa, the H1B1 also comes with specific advantages. The main benefits of the H1B1 visa are:

  • It allows multiple entries
  • It does not require any prior petition with the USCIS.
  • It is easy to obtain when compared to other visas.

Difference Between H1B1 and H1B visa

Since the H1B1 is similar to the H1B visa, it is important to know the crucial difference between the two types of visas. The main difference between the H1B1 and the H1B visa is the foreigner's intent to come to the United States.

For the H1B, the intent is to be temporarily employed by a US-based employer and immigrate to the US before the visa status expires.

For the H1B1, you must prove that you do not intend to immigrate to the US, and therefore you will not pursue permanent residency while visiting the US on an H1B1 visa.

Once these requirements are fulfilled, you can start the application process to acquire the H1B1 visa. Let's look into those details.

Application Process, Premium Processing & Processing Time for H1B1 Visa

To start the application procedure, you must gather the documents, prove your eligibility, and approach the US Embassy or Consulate in either Singapore or Chile concerning your citizenship. You also have to:

  • Fill out the DS-160 Form.
  • Schedule your visa interview.
  • Submit the required original documents if you are visiting the Consulate in person. You may also send your documents to the Consulate via courier service. If you choose this option, you can send only copies of the documents.
  • Attend the interview on the scheduled date.

H1B1 Premium Processing

Since the Premium Processing option is available for other visa processes, you may want to use this option to expedite the process. Unfortunately, Premium Processing is NOT AVAILABLE for an H1B1 visa.

What is the Processing Time for H1B1 Visa?

Since the H1B1 visa is not available for Premium Processing, the process takes a longer duration than the H1B visa. Generally, the processing time for the H1B1 visa processing time takes up to 4 to 6 months. However, the time may vary, largely depending on seasonal fluctuations and the workload of the embassies. Therefore, you should approach your local US Consulate where you have applied for the visa for further information regarding the processing time.

Does H1B1 Allow Dependants?

The H1B1 allows dependants such as your spouse and children under 21 years to accompany you to the US under an H4 visa. With the H4 visa, they can enroll in school or college to pursue their education. However, H4 dependants of H1B1 visa holders CAN NOT engage in employment in the US.

The main requirement for your spouse to get approval for an H4 visa is your marriage certificate. If your spouse is not a Chilean or Singaporean citizen, it is best to apply for both your visas simultaneously. Otherwise, your spouse may be required to apply directly from the US Embassy in their home country if they apply for the H-4 visa after you.

Also Read: The All-inclusive H1B1 Information Booklet

How to Apply for a Change of Status if You are in the US

You may apply for a Change of Status (COS) to an H1B1 visa if:

  • You are in the US
  • You have a non-immigrant visa status which supports COS
  • You continue to maintain your visa status.

The first step to file for a Change of Status is to file Form I-129. You should also submit:

  • A Labor Condition Application or LCA certified by the US Department of Labor or ETA 9035E or 9035 with the employer's signature.
  • Letter of employment confirming the job offer with the following details
  1. Job position
  2. Salary
  3. Duration of employment
  4. Description of the organization
  5. Applicant's qualifications
  • Evidence of being eligible for a specialty occupation such as:
  1. Degree certificates
  2. Education evaluation
  • Copy of your valid visa
  • I-94 record as proof of having legally entered the US and maintaining the status.

H1B1 Visa: Duration & Extension of Stay

The validity of the H1B1 visa is only for eighteen months, and it cannot be extended beyond the period of the LCA. You can only be admitted for one year if you enter the US or change your status to H1B1 status. If you show that you do not intend to permanently live in the US, your H1B1 status can be renewed indefinitely. Also, if you file the H1B1 extension on time, you will be authorized to work for 240 days past the expiry of the H1B1 status.

H1B1 Transfer

You can apply for the H1B1 visa Transfer for two reasons:

  • To change employers while on an H1B1 visa.
  • To transfer to another visa type.

To change your employer with an H1B1 transfer, you should find a new employer who will apply for your LCA and get your Form I-797A. You can also obtain this form by visiting a US Embassy in another country and getting an H1B1 visa stamp and LCA number in your new employer's name.

To transfer to another visa from your H1B1 status, you have to repeat all the processes that you followed for obtaining the visa for the first time.

H1B1 Visa: A Great Alternative for Citizens of Singapore & Chile

If you are a citizen of Chile or Singapore, you can choose to go for the H1B1 visa as opposed to the H1B visa because you can:

  • Avoid the H1B cap and H1B Lottery
  • Obtain your visa without significant delay.
  • Apply for a regular H1B petition.

For more information on H1B1, visit TechFetch H1B. This is a one stop-site for information on everything related to H1B and the entire process.

**Disclaimer: All H1B1 visa processes are subject to change. Kindly refer to the official USCIS website for the latest details.

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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